SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Sell KPU Telecommunications Division
By Mike Ellis and Susan Fisher


March 31, 2010

To the Editor:

Selling the KPU Telecommunications Division is the right move for our city. We're voting yes on both ballot propositions April 6.

Sure, it's hard to let go of something you own, and especially when the cable television part of it is blossoming. But the landline system, declining federal and state subsidies and a host of other anchors are dragging it down. The profit margin is ever shrinking; the bottom line is disappearing.

Our thinking: we don't need a government-run television company or phone company. There will be private sector competition - in fact it's here and it's heating up. We consumers will decide with our wallets who gets our cell phone and cable or satellite TV dollars. Our city leaders will be freed up to work on tough issues like bridges, streets, water/sewer, storm drains and capital projects. They will be freed from trying to "compete" in an open venue with the private sector.

City leaders have assured us and KPU employees that a sale will make sure that employees get a fair shake and can decide for themselves if they stay or choose new opportunities.

Will rates go up? Well, will taxes? Will prices? Eventually, of course, they will. But selling the telecommunications division now and putting proceeds into a Rate Stabilization Fund can help buffer the inevitable rate increase.

If we vote not to sell, we are dooming ourselves to shoveling more rate money into newer technology to keep up with the private Joneses while the phone portion continues to lose ground.

We have bigger battles to wage. Let's make the right move April 6.

Mike Ellis and Susan Fisher
Ketchikan, AK

Received March 31, 2009 - Published March 31, 2010



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